The galactic habitable zone and the age distribution of complex life in the Milky Way

C Lineweaver, Brad Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

We modeled the evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy to trace the distribution in space and time of four prerequisites for complex life: the presence of a host star, enough heavy elements to form terrestrial planets, sufficient time for biological evolution, and an environment free of life-extinguishing supernovae. We identified the Galactic habitable zone (GHZ) as an annular region between 7 and 9 kiloparsecs from the Galactic center that widens with time and is composed of stars that formed between 8 and 4 billion years ago. This GHZ yields an age distribution for the complex life that may inhabit our Galaxy. We found that 75% of the stars in the GHZ are older than the Sun.
LanguageEnglish
Pages59-62
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume303
Issue number5654
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Age Distribution
Galaxies
Biological Evolution
Planets

Cite this

Lineweaver, C ; Gibson, Brad. / The galactic habitable zone and the age distribution of complex life in the Milky Way. In: Science. 2004 ; Vol. 303, No. 5654. pp. 59-62.
@article{e305bd11d855406d8093d60270f1e145,
title = "The galactic habitable zone and the age distribution of complex life in the Milky Way",
abstract = "We modeled the evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy to trace the distribution in space and time of four prerequisites for complex life: the presence of a host star, enough heavy elements to form terrestrial planets, sufficient time for biological evolution, and an environment free of life-extinguishing supernovae. We identified the Galactic habitable zone (GHZ) as an annular region between 7 and 9 kiloparsecs from the Galactic center that widens with time and is composed of stars that formed between 8 and 4 billion years ago. This GHZ yields an age distribution for the complex life that may inhabit our Galaxy. We found that 75{\%} of the stars in the GHZ are older than the Sun.",
author = "C Lineweaver and Brad Gibson",
year = "2004",
doi = "10.1126/science.1092322",
language = "English",
volume = "303",
pages = "59--62",
journal = "Science (New York, N.Y.)",
issn = "0036-8075",
publisher = "American Association for the Advancement of Science",
number = "5654",

}

The galactic habitable zone and the age distribution of complex life in the Milky Way. / Lineweaver, C; Gibson, Brad.

In: Science, Vol. 303, No. 5654, 2004, p. 59-62.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The galactic habitable zone and the age distribution of complex life in the Milky Way

AU - Lineweaver, C

AU - Gibson, Brad

PY - 2004

Y1 - 2004

N2 - We modeled the evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy to trace the distribution in space and time of four prerequisites for complex life: the presence of a host star, enough heavy elements to form terrestrial planets, sufficient time for biological evolution, and an environment free of life-extinguishing supernovae. We identified the Galactic habitable zone (GHZ) as an annular region between 7 and 9 kiloparsecs from the Galactic center that widens with time and is composed of stars that formed between 8 and 4 billion years ago. This GHZ yields an age distribution for the complex life that may inhabit our Galaxy. We found that 75% of the stars in the GHZ are older than the Sun.

AB - We modeled the evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy to trace the distribution in space and time of four prerequisites for complex life: the presence of a host star, enough heavy elements to form terrestrial planets, sufficient time for biological evolution, and an environment free of life-extinguishing supernovae. We identified the Galactic habitable zone (GHZ) as an annular region between 7 and 9 kiloparsecs from the Galactic center that widens with time and is composed of stars that formed between 8 and 4 billion years ago. This GHZ yields an age distribution for the complex life that may inhabit our Galaxy. We found that 75% of the stars in the GHZ are older than the Sun.

U2 - 10.1126/science.1092322

DO - 10.1126/science.1092322

M3 - Article

VL - 303

SP - 59

EP - 62

JO - Science (New York, N.Y.)

T2 - Science (New York, N.Y.)

JF - Science (New York, N.Y.)

SN - 0036-8075

IS - 5654

ER -